Reaching Minority Communities of Unreached Peoples within the borders of reached nations.
USA:ETHNIC OUTREACH `
QUESTION From: Linda Pietrzak <LPBGC@aol.com> ...We have a strong number of people from India, Pakistan, Japan, Poland, Russia and Mexico in our area---and then of course all kinds of ethnic outreach potential in the city proper. Are there books or ministries out there that help a church develop such ministries from "ground zero?" Any counsel from those that have seen God take a church from apathy and ignorance to effective evangelism and discipleship of ethnic neighbors?
QUESTION From: David Carpenter <firstname.lastname@example.org> I am looking for a mission trip in the USA, but to a pocket of unreached peoples. This is for a youth trip, so it must be appropriate for teenagers. Do you know of any USA trips that could be possibilities? Thanks for any help.
ANSWER From: Neal Pirolo <Neal_Pirolo@eri.org> Emmaus Road, International is an educational resource for cross-cultural ministry. A series of essays called, INTERNATIONALS WHO LIVE AMONG US, would provide some insights to the diverse opportunity, some suggestions of approach, and reference to organizations which could help you in reaching out to the various groups. The cost of the set of 12 essays is $6.00 + $1.50 P&H. You can order by e-mail. An invoice would be included with the order. Or, you may order off our website: <http://www.eri.org> Let's be in touch! For His glory!
ANSWER From: Jim <email@example.com> Linda, contact Dr. Robert Douglas at the Chicago Center for Urban Mission, Tel. 773-728-8661 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Tell him Jim sent you. He is near you and this is the purpose of the center.
ANSWER From: Cecily Paterson <email@example.com> I'm not sure about the US, but in Australia there are some new resources which have come out of my dad's ministry with the evangelical Anglican church in Wollongong. A bible study resource which helps Christians look around them and 'welcome the outsiders' is excellent. He has also developed a thing called 'Easy English Services', which feeds out of ESL classes. Basic outlines, how-to's and raison d'etres can be obtained from him. His name is John Thew: contact at <CandJThew@bigpond.com>.
ANSWER From <NateWilson@XC.org> You could also try talking to Rev. Steve Schlissel <MessiahNYC@aol.com> about the ministry of Urban Nations, which is reaching out to Internationals in the city of New York through English classes. Another friend and good contact would be Tim Brown, who runs AmeriTribes Mission among American Indians in Arizona. He'd probably be pretty interdenominational in flavor. You can reach him at: <TimCBrown@aol.com> In addition, Mission Frontiers magazine highlighted this home-front strategy for missions in it's Jan.-Feb. 1996 issue "The USCWM, Charting a New Course?" To get an electronic version of the lead article, send a message addressed to <HUB@XC.ORG> with the following text: get brigada-pubs-missionfrontiers MF96.01-02.17-New-Course?
UPG: USA: STORIES IN US?`
QUESTION From: Bill&Amy Stearns <STEARNS@compuserve.com> ...stories of what is happening among unreached peoples represented in the US. ...one-on-one personal kind of stuff as well as documented stat's, creative ideas for identifying and reaching the unreached around you, etc. The audience will be cursorily versed in people-group thinking, and the point will be for them to "lift up their eyes and look to the fields" around them...
ANSWER From: Chris: One of the best places to meet people is on the Internet, whether you're looking for a date, a mate, or a gate to an unreached people group. I have met more friends from my target unreached people group by surfing the Net, cruising the Web, and lurking in e-mail forums. On one Muslim e-mail forum I listened to a conversation between Muslim computer hackers as to whether it was "halal" (that's Muslim for Kosher) to break into someone else's computer to steal secrets or sabotage. The conclusion: it was not ethical according to the Koran to break into another Muslim's computers, but it was jihad, holy war, to break into Christian computers. Readers be warned!
On a Central Asian forum I discovered individuals from many people groups that are difficult to reach. One of them from my target unreached people group happened to live in my neighboring town. It turned out he was the Webmaster for a community of his people group in exile. He then subscribed me to their community e-mail forum (where they write to each other in English since their language is written in a script that doesn't fit in cyberspace). Their community is composed of international students in the USA, England, Australia, Thailand, Japan, and Germany. Through my friend's introductions I have personally met many of these students and leaders and even shared the Gospel with some of them. My friend and I have become very close. We attended the birth of his child here in the USA, he teaches me his language and culture, and we go out together as families for dinner, movies, and hikes in the mountains. When I traveled to his home country I stayed in the home of his family who made me feel like part of their family. We love our friends and laugh that we met on the Internet.
Another approach is to conduct neighborhood surveys with an ethnic church in that neighborhood. For example you could develop a partnership with a Hispanic or Chinese church in a multi-ethnic community in your town. You could then design a religious survey questionnaire that would identify where people come from. If the people conducting the surveys are from the community and they are ethnic themselves, then the people being surveyed won't feel like they've been targeted by the US Immigration and Naturalization Service. If the survey is good you could identify community needs such as childcare programs, job skills training, bazaar sales, English language tutoring, "get the gangs off the street" youth programs, etc. all from the neighborhood church helped by your church.
INTERNATIONAL STUDENT RESOURCE`
"InterCultural Press" (secular group) continues to publish a quarterly catalogue of books and booklets or various aspects of foreign students and cross cultural areas. One of their recent books, "On Being Foreign," by Tom Lewis & Robert Jungman (308 pgs., 1986, $16.95) is a skillfully selected collection of short stories on culture shock, for example. Get on their quarterly mailing list: Intercultural Press, Inc., P.O.Box 700, Yarmouth, ME 04096 (207/846-5168 ) .
CROSS-CULTURAL OUTREACHES IN THE U.S. (YEMENI, LAKOTA)`
YEMENIS IN THE USA From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Barry Lillie)`
(Originally posted on brigada-us-ethnics@XC.org on 7/22/96) My interest at present is in reaching Arab Muslims here. I see a terrific opportunity in that many of their home countries are so tough to get into with evangelistic goals. Here we can basically say and do as we please within the bounds of good cross-cultural communication practice. Plus I have found a great deal of openness to conversation in general on the part of the muslims I have met. I think they are just happy to have an american acquaintance who doesn't think they are a terrorist! I spoke not long ago with a fellow from Yemen who owns a small market near my office. He was so pleased that I even knew where Yemen was! So, I simply feel like we need to take advantage of this chance to reach one of the last big holdouts from the gospel. Here in Bakersfield, there are about 4,000 Muslims. For some reason, there is a large contingent of Yemenis here. I have met several through my work, all of whom I really liked. They are my "target group", so to speak, for the present. I am trying to learn what I can about them and their culture, so as to make the most of the interactions I have with them. As for myself, I am about thirty years in the faith. I was raised a Southern Baptist and met Jesus in a personal way in the fourth grade. My missions interest probably started in college, with involvement in Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship at the University of Arizona. More recently, I attended a conference at the US Center for World Mission this spring and another through ACMC here in Bakersfield. These two events God seems to have used to heighten the urgency of the missions cause in my heart and mind. Perhaps more than anything, I have come to realize that we could very well reach every people group within my lifetime if we got the church mobilized...
LAKOTA INDIAN SHORT-TERM OUTREACH From G.P.`
Here are some of the stated results of the mission trip my Sunday School class took to South Dakota: I used to pray globally, generally; now I pray specifically for the people I met and the situations I saw. *I realize just how blessed we are, how much 'stuff' I have.`
*makes me want to go on another STMT.`
*I was really blessed by our team prayer times.`
*I liked the 'encouragement notes' the team members wrote for each other.`
*came back with more self-confidence (about being able to share with people) because I did something that matters during that week.`
*I enjoyed getting to know the people on our team better, especially thru our sharing our testimonies with each other.`
*I loved working with the kids, seeing the light in their eyes as we loved them.`
*had a chance to witness at work as people asked how the trip went.`
*learned how another culture (Lakota people) feels and thinks.`
*I was really blessed getting to know the native pastor and his wife--neat people.`
*I learned that in a small community (i.e. our group of 12) each person counts more.`
*I'm glad we had fun together! (i.e. playing volleyball in the evenings)`
*our class wants to have an ongoing ministry to them.
Morale: if you get a chance to lead a STMT, be part of one, or encourage someone to go on one-- DO IT! I believe (am re-convinced) they are very worthwhile in educating, encouraging and mobilizing the Body of Christ.